Riviera Reporter
Riviera Reporter


Driving in France, laws and licensing. Buying, selling or importing a motor vehicle.

Man speeding in car

French speed cameras trap 4.5m foreign drivers, but will Brits pay up?

Riviera Reporter | Sep 24, 2015
Speed cameras in France have caught foreign motorists a staggering 4.5 million times in just one year, that’s an incredible 123,287 per day or 5,139 per hour. British drivers are far from the worst offenders. Figures obtained by TheLocal.fr show…
Andrew C Johnson

Get licensed to drive, in English, with Andrew Johnson

Nancy Heslin | Nov 01, 2014
I have very fond memories of my obligatory in-car driving lessons in France. When I moved here there was no licence exchange in place between France and Ontario, Canada and so there I was, a few times a week, behind the wheel getting told off by my…
British Potholes

Differences between driving in Britain and France

Riviera Reporter | Oct 15, 2013
All roads lead to ... If you work in a French company, chances are you’ll be joining the masses in August when, according to INSEE, 40% of the country takes their annual break, many by car on one of the best road networks in Europe. True, French…
Steven Saltzman

On your Top Marques

Nick Kent | Apr 19, 2013
It would be easy not to like a guy who turns up late and spends most of the interview speaking into at least two telephones, but Steven Saltzman is not that guy.After all, this charming but busy man has a lot on at the moment, being a key part of…
Driver taken by surprise

Red alert at the traffic lights

Riviera Reporter | Apr 10, 2013
Traffic light cameras are spreading fast – there are more than 20 operating in the Alpes-Maritimes, and the Marseille area has almost as many. Drivers from outside France are often taken by surprise at the speed at which traffic lights tend to…
Petrol Prices

Pumping us dry with a diesel tax increase

Riviera Reporter | Apr 04, 2013
Could it be au revoir to lower gazole prices at the pumps?The fact that France is not a consumer-led economy was brought home to diesel-driving staff on the Riviera Reporter by the reaction to the proposed rise in tax on gazole to bring prices into…

Of Booze and Beethoven

Riviera Reporter | Feb 07, 2013
Next month - March 2013 - we were all expected to have one of those ethylotests in our cars... or pay a fine. Back last summer the date to get your vehicle fitted out was set for November. Then it was pushed back by four months. And now Interior…
Driving Dilemma - a Cautionary Tale

Driving Dilemma - a Cautionary Tale

Riviera Reporter | Jan 27, 2013
This piece was sent to us by a reader who, although she is known to us, wishes to remain anonymous. We will be following up with some links and texts that you should keep in your car if you're driving on an EU licence and some tips about the…
French Car Story

The French Car Story

Colin Anderson | Jan 22, 2013
"What we need is a little French runabout car to keep in Menton, then we can fly to and fro from England by EasyJet and have a car at each end." "Now why didn't I think of that?"Simple, really. Well, that's what we thought. And bits of it really…
Default Image

Obligatory Alcohol tests on the way

Riviera Reporter | Mar 03, 2012
As of July 1, motorists and users of motor bikes must have a mandatory breath test with them. Under a decree published this week, the lack of possession is punishable by a fine of 11 euros as of 1 November 2012. Here's how to use this measure which…
Buying Car

Buying a used car privately in France

Riviera Reporter | Feb 22, 2012
The person you buy from has to be the propriétaire du véhicule (owner) named on the car registration (certificat d’immatriculation).Make sure that the series number stamped on the car matches that of the seller’s registration documents. Before…
French car registration

Selling a used car in France

Riviera Reporter | Feb 20, 2012
How? If your French is good enough, the best way to sell a car is to put a sign in the window of your car. It costs nothing, the French are used to buying cars this way, and there are more French drivers here than English! Make sure the words “A…
traffic photo

French Driving Rules on the Move (Part 1)

Riviera Reporter | Feb 14, 2012
As road mortalities increase, French Driving regulations are changing to cope. Some new rules of the road have been introduced while others are now being more strictly enforced. Hazardous winter conditions contribute to accidents but but outright…
Driving Licences

French resident, foreign licence

Mike Meade | Feb 05, 2012
European law permits expat residents to drive in France on the licence of any other EU country. in theory that’s the case but in practice it can be risky. A uniquely expat problem: not every EU licence is valid in every EU country. You must have…
Default Image

Radar warning U-turn

Riviera Reporter | Feb 05, 2012
Once again the bureaucrats got it wrong. Earlier this year it was announced that radar detectors (avertisseurs de radar) would be banned in France. No one had considered the fact that most GPS sat-navs have some sort of speed trap warning system…
Car accident

Car accident insurance declaration - constat amiable

Riviera Reporter | Jan 08, 2012
Following an accident, it's best to try to agree the details of what happened with the other driver. Sounds unlikely? In fact, the system works quite well. Practically, it means that both drivers – or maybe several, if it’s an incident involving a…
driving licence

Swapping your driving licence for a French one

PJ Heslin | Jan 08, 2012
If you have an EU driving licence you can drive in France even if you are a resident. But if your licence isn't EU you'll have to get a French "permis". In some cases - where France has a reciprocal arrangement with your home country or state - this…

What's it with the new number plates?

Riviera Reporter | Jan 08, 2012
Later than originally envisaged, and following quite a lot of political opposition (including from Christian Estrosi), the new system of vehicle registration has now come into force. All new vehicles will have a permanent number across their…

Compulsory safety jacket and warning triangle

Riviera Reporter | Jan 08, 2012
From July 1 2008, it is a legal requirement for all vehicles to carry one warning triangle and one reflective (fluorescent) safety jacket. The safety jacket must be stored inside the car somewhere easily accessible such as under your seat or in your…

French Driving Test

Riviera Reporter | Jan 08, 2012
It's becoming harder to get a driving licence in France. Last year only just over 52% of those taking the practical driving test for “Permis B” were successful; this compares with an average of 57% across the previous ten years. One reason is that…
British car

Using a foreign car in France

www.lost-in-france.com | Jan 07, 2012
It is not obligatory to register a foreign vehicle in France unless the owner is resident in France. A resident is someone who is domiciled in France for more than six months (183 days) per year, who is employed in France, or has made a recognised…
Road Rage

Road rage ... in French

Riviera Reporter | Jan 23, 2011
Slang and swearing are dodgy areas for the speaker of a foreign language. If you get it wrong you risk seeming ridiculous or just incomprehensible. It can be useful, though, to be able to swear effectively ... and perhaps no more so than when…
To be notified of latest articles:
"Like" our Page on Facebook

Popular: France